This year my wife heads back to part-time work. This means I’m a stay at home dad one day a week. I know I know, one day no big deal right? Well to me it is. I’m a little nervous and excited at the same time. It means I’ll be doing school drop-offs and pick-ups, lunches and all the housework that Monday but the best bit is looking after my youngest daughter Keller. Heaps of cuddles and playtime. It’s going to be fun. So after my first day here’s what I learnt.
- My wife seriously rocks.
By the end of the night, I hopped into bed pretty tired. It surprised me. One day in and mild exhaustion was setting in. How soft am I? Here I was thinking about how much I achieved or didn’t achieve that day. I got the washing done but didn’t get the floors mopped. I got my daughter down well for her first sleep but not her second. So my day was filled with a sense of accomplishment and yet I still felt like I didn’t get everything done. This made me think of my wife. How often does she lay her head on the pillow at night thinking not only about everything that needs to be done the next day but also what was still left over from this day? Yet I rarely hear her complain. She handles herself with so much grace. If anything she beats herself up for not doing a good enough job, which is just plain ridiculous. My wife rocks.
- Rhythms matter
My housework on a Monday will essentially set up the rest of the week for my wife and family. This is why I’m a little nervous about the whole thing. I don’t want the week to begin on the back foot. So getting a good rhythm to my day will be essential to our family rhythm. I’m not sure how long it will take to get into our groove but I’m looking forward to finding it.
- Washing takes a while in a house of 6
I’m not exactly sure how many loads of washing I folded this week but what I do know is that it takes much longer than I anticipated. A pile of washing always seemed a pretty simple job to me but its always been a task my wife took care of. I normally do more of the floors and washing up but rarely touch clothes other than putting my own away. This is probably an intelligent strategy from my wife, as I’d have a good chance of stuffing something up. But now it’s part of the role description. So washing it is. Come at me. I got this!
- Netflix is a good washing friend
So here’s my goal. And don’t judge me. After one day of stay at home dadding, I think I just may be able to rhythm bubs sleep time with some washing and netflixing 🙂 So while washing may take some time I just may be able to make it an enjoyable time. Now, this may sound like I’m a terrible parent, or maybe this is a secret that all stay at home parents’ keep on the quiet. All I know is that I’m going to pick a new show and see if I can watch one episode a week while folding. So what new Netflix show do you recommend?
- One on One time is pretty special
Georgia, my #3 child started prep this year. I had the privilege of taking her to meet her class and see her in a different context. What I saw blew my mind. I saw a completely different person than the girl I knew at home. She was far more confident than I had ever imagined. No longer under the sway of her older brother or sister, she spread her own wings and was soaring. It was awesome. I was so shocked that when I got home I told my wife that it felt like I didn’t really know her. In one sense I felt saddened. Almost like I had neglected my relationship with her. In another sense, I was delighted and wanted to get to know this girl even more. Either way, I was reminded that being a big family is awesome. It’s fun, it’s loud, it’s crazy busy and it’s an absolute blessing from God. It’s also really easy to let the individual slip through the cracks. We are a family, we are a community and we’re also individuals. This is a tension I’m learning to balance. How do we as parents create a family culture whereby the one doesn’t rule the whole and at the same time the one doesn’t get lost amongst the whole?
I’m reminded that it’s super important to have the one on one. This year I’m really looking forward to my one on one time with my youngest. I hope to build my friendship with her and get to know who God has made her be. I’m also looking forward to making a more concerted effort to do the same with the other three kids and especially my wife. She has given so much of herself over the last 8 years and joyfully. I also know that she’s going to blossom even more this year. Because like I said in the beginning – she rocks.
So if you are the praying type I’d love some prayer as a Dad and husband to be able to meet the emotional and relational needs of my family as individuals.
Thanks in advance.